Like them or loathe them, there’s no denying the Kardashian family know how to stay on trend and whip up a controversy or two. The latest episode of their reality TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, saw Kris Jenner (Mum of Kim, Kylie, Kourtney, Khloe and Kendall) giving her 83 year old mum Mary Jo a pair of GPS Tracking Smart Soles as a gift.

Unforgettable sells the very same insoles here. They’re part of a wide range of GPS tracking devices designed to suit all needs and all budgets, customers who’ve bought them tell us they are ‘amazing technology’ which have helped to prevent people they love from going missing, getting lost, or worse…

Whilst we were pleased to see such a useful and worthwhile product receive global publicity (KUWTK regularly attracts 8- 10 million viewers) we were rather concerned about the way the subject was handled.

Firstly, there is no suggestion that Mary Jo Houghton has dementia or memory loss. Kris Jenner simply can’t keep up with her. She decided to give her mum the insoles because she didn’t answer one of her many daily phone calls… Of course, it’s natural to worry about elderly parents and it’s perfectly understandable that Kris might want to keep a closer eye on her mum. But GPS tracking devices were not created for this purpose, they are designed keep the most vulnerable members of our community safe – not as a way to pry on a seemingly sprightly octogenarian with her own busy life. Using trackers in this way isn’t only wrong, it also trivializes the very serious issues that trackers were designed to address. If a loved one with dementia goes missing, their family and friends experience heart-stopping fear, which isn’t quite the same as wondering if your mum has gone shopping or to a spa.

Secondly, we were very concerned to see the rather underhand way Kris Jenner presented this ‘gift’ to her mum. See what happened here:

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Before using a tracking device, you should always ask the permission of the person with dementia if at all possible. The subject should be discussed honestly and openly, ideally before the device becomes necessary because there are many ethical and legal issues concerning privacy and freedom. Best of all, you can even set up a living will or an advanced decision so that your loved one’s thoughts and feelings on sensitive issues like this are respected.

However, as far as we can see Mary Jo was not given any choice at all. Her daughter didn’t even mention the fact that the insoles contained a tracking device. We’re glad to hear that Kris has now come clean and told her mum the truth, and that fortunately, Mary Jo is okay about it though whether she still decides to wear them is another matter…

What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts and views about this..

Want to read more on this subject?

GPS tracker buying guide

Tracking devices and dementia: What you need to know

How do I set up a living will or an advanced decision

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